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Narendra Modi hits out at critics, promises to reverse growth slowdown

LiveMint logoLiveMint 04-10-2017 PTI

New Delhi: Lashing out at the critics of his economic policies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said Indian economy was on firm footing and that he will never jeopardise the country’s future for present gains.

In an over hour-long speech, punctuated with sharp comments and comparisons with track record of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), Modi told a gathering of company secretaries that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will continue the economic reforms and will not hesitate to take decision to reverse the GDP growth slowdown witnessed in last two quarters.

“I will not jeopardize the future of the country for my present gains,” Modi said, adding the government would focus on structural reforms rather than giving doles to win praises.

The prime minister said his critics were seeing slowdown in the last two quarters but were ignoring that the BJP government had brought down inflation from 10% in the UPA regime to 2.5%, shrunk current account deficit to near 1% from 4% and brought down fiscal deficit to 3.5% from 4.5%. India’s GDP growth was 5.7% or less than that on eight occasions during previous UPA government, he said, lamenting how pessimists were calling April-June growth of 5.7% as doomsday.

Modi comments on Wednesday comes days after senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha in an article headlined I need to speak up now, described the Indian economy as a “mess” that will not resuscitate before the next general elections.

“Government is committed to reverse this trend...we are capable of that and ready to take decisions,” Modi said, adding the decisions taken by the government will take India to a new growth trajectory.

The prime minister said there was a time when India was part of the Fragile Five and the BJP government pulled it out to make it the fastest growing economy for most part of its three-year rule. The government, he said, was aware that growth has slowed and is taking steps to improve it.

Addressing concerns over implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) regime, the prime minister said he has asked the GST Council to identify bottlenecks and technological hurdles faced by businesses especially small and medium enterprises. The government, he said, is ready to make amends to help small traders. Modi said registration of 2.1 lakh out of 3 lakh suspected shell companies identified post note-ban has been cancelled in a crack down on the black money.

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